Women's Soccer
Emily Zurrer's Canadian Squad Kicks Off Olympic Play Wednesday

Former Illini and current Canadian Defender Emily Zurrer
Former Illini and current Canadian Defender Emily Zurrer

July 24, 2012

Zurrer's Olympic Journal Entry No. 1 | Entry No. 2 | Illini Olympic Central

LONDON, England - Former Illini soccer standout Emily Zurrer (2005-08) will once again don her nation's colors to represent Canada in the 2012 Olympic Games. The Canadians open group play Wednesday, July 25, against Japan at 11 a.m. CT in Coventry, England. The game will be aired on the NBC Sports Network Channel at 3 p.m. CT and again on the NBC Olympic Soccer Channel at 5 p.m. CT.

Zurrer's squad competes in Group F against Japan, Sweden and South Africa. After their tough opening round with the current world champions from Japan, the Canadians square off against South Africa on July 28 at 8:45 a.m. CT and then Sweden on July 31 at 8:30 a.m. CT. The quarterfinals will be held on August 3, while the semifinals will take place on August 6. The bronze and gold medal games will take place on August 9.

Zurrer ended her Illinois career as the program's first three-time All-American. She also earned Big Ten Player of the Year and All Big-Ten honors in 2006. In addition, Zurrer compiled 11 goals and five assists, good for 27 total points. The Zurrer-led defense pushed the Illini to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a pair of Sweet 16 berths in 2006 and 2008.

Zurrer became the first Illini soccer player to compete in the Olympics in 2008 when she joined the Canadian squad in Beijing. Zurrer started all four games at defense, helping Canada advance out of the group stage before falling to the United States in the quarterfinal round. 

The Orange and Blue alum was a key defender for her national squad in 2010. The Canadians secured a CONCACAF Tournament Championship after a 5-0 run, during which the defense did not allow a single goal. Zurrer resumed her role with Canada in 2011, when they competed in the World Cup in Germany. 

New Canadian head coach John Herdman announced Zurrer to the 2012 Olympic squad on June 25. She is one of three center backs and seven total defenders on the roster.

Zurrer will now compete in her second Olympic Games at the age of 25. After playing in venues like Bangkok, Beijing and Berlin, Zurrer will have the opportunity to compete for the gold medal inside the famous Wembley Stadium in London. 

Zurrer, along with several other current and former Big Ten athletes at the Olympic Games, is keeping an online journal of her experiences in London on the Big Ten Network's website.